“Don’t Laugh George, It’s the Future!”

If someone would have told me over that I would sit through an hour and forty minutes of a black-and-white silent movie in 2012, I would have laughed in their face. Last Saturday night I went to the Electric Cinema in London (which is the way theatre experiences should really be done) and saw the Artist with a good friend of mine. If you haven’t heard of the Artist I suggest you check it out. It’s up for 6 golden globes (more than any other movie), is currently 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and took me by complete surprise. Why the hell am I blogging about this movie? Let me explain.

From the description on Rotten Tomattoes:

Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies. — © Weinstein

Without trying to spoil too much of the movie, there are a few ground breaking scenes throughout the movie. For example, when the hollywood execs inevitably break the news to the main character George Valentin, that the “Talkies” (talking movies) are the future of the movie industry, George simply laughs at them. The main Hollywood exec (played by John Goodman) responds to George by saying “Don’t laugh George, that’s the future”. Later when explaining to George why the Talkies are taking over the movie industry, John Goodman says to George “The public wants fresh meat and the public is never wrong”. A lot of the sociology behind disruptive innovation rings completely true with these statements. Ironically one of the most prominent one is the disruptive force of digital distribution in the entertainment industry.

It’s interesting that in 2012 upon the advent of the controversial US Congress bills named SOPA and PIPA, that a product that talks about the emotional discourse of disruptive technology was created by the industries that they themselves can’t seem to come to grips with. It’ll be an interesting year for all of us.

Grab your popcorn…